[linux-audio-dev] Re: image problem [was Re: [Alsa-devel] help for a levelmeter]

Mark Knecht mknecht at controlnet.com
Tue Nov 12 14:46:00 UTC 2002

that's not really what i meant. anybody who has read this list over a
reasonably period of time or who conducts a rudimentary lookup on my
name using google will very rapidly get the impression that i'm
probably available for any consulting projects related to linux, audio
and MIDI. and indeed,

[MWK] Third on my list in a Google search this morning. The only comment I'd
make is that the resume itself made it look a bit like you were busy with
Linux Audio Systems, but if I was looking I wouldn't have hesitated to call.

>To attract commercial attention, a Linux audio application would have to
>offer either a unique feature (or group of features) that's commercially
>attractive or a significant customer base unreached by Windows/OS products.

1) "it doesn't crash. ever." [ well, OK, but we're getting there. ]
2) "its will never be made obsolete by an OS vendor's business decisions."

most people i know consider these fairly commercially attractive.


[MWK] People do, but Companies don't. These companies need a compelling
story about how they can make money selling these products. I don't
understand how that is possible today. Just for fun, let me propose a
scenario and see where this goes.

SCENARIO 1: Software only

Company A takes a copy of Ardour and forks it. They do their own GUI from
scratch, maybe based on some product they already have running under OS-X or
Windows. Since the GUI is 100% theirs they don't put it under CVS. They make
improvements to the audio engine and provide those back for your
consideration, but you don't like some of them so they don't all end up in
the CVS tree for the main Ardour program. None the less, Company A  met it's
GPL requirements. (I think! If not, change whatever is required to make it
so.) Let's assume this takes them 6 months to get ready to sell.

Now Company A has a product to sell. Nuendo sells for $1K. DigiDesign's 001
with hardware sells for $800, and 002 sells for $2K. Cubase sells fro $500.
Who knows what Logic sells for anymore?

Company A has just 3 software engineers on staff to do this. They earn
$100K/Yr. each. (Lowish-end Silicon Valley prices) There is office space
cost, amortization and capital expenses, IT costs to run this business,
advertising and other marketing expenses. Probably with the President's
salary the business is somewhere between $500K and $1M a year.  They set the
price at $500 and go to market. They need to sell between 1000 and 2000
units to break even.

Unfortunately for Company A, the competitive landscape isn't flat. There's a
free version out there, good old Ardour, that they have to compete against.
How many people will by my Company A version when it's common knowledge that
it's based on the free version.

How do we convince a company to take this risk with $1M dollars? It's very
difficult, if not impossible, I think...

SCENARIO 2: Software + Hardware


More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list